Scott Heidepriem

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Scott Heidepriem
Scott Heidepriem cropped.jpg
Member of the South Dakota Senate
from the 13th district
In office
January 2007 – January 2011
Preceded by Mary McClure
Succeeded by Phyllis Heineman
Personal details
Born (1956-06-25) June 25, 1956 (age 60)
Miller, South Dakota, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Susan
Children 2
Alma mater University of South Dakota
Harvard University

Scott Heidepriem (born June 25, 1956) is a Sioux Falls, South Dakota lawyer and politician, and a former Democratic member of the South Dakota Senate, representing the 13th district from 2007 to 2010. He was the 2010 Democratic nominee for Governor of South Dakota.

Early life, education, and career[edit]

After high school Heidepriem attended the University of South Dakota where he obtained his bachelors.[1] He graduated in 1978 with Phi Beta Kappa honors.[2] During his undergraduate career, he was elected Student Body President. Heidepriem also received his Juris Doctorate (JD) degree in 1980 and a Master’s degree in history in 1983 from the University of South Dakota.[1] He also attended John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree.[1] Heidepriem has been married for 24 years to Susan, and they have two children.[3]

Heidepriem 's legal career as a civil litigator began in Miller, South Dakota. In 1992, Scott and his family moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he co-founded the Johnson, Heidepriem law firm. In January 2015, Scott resigned and co-founded Heidpriem, Purtell & Siegel law firm. Heidepriem was a past president of the South Dakota Trial Lawyers.

Political career[edit]

In 1986, Heidepriem ran for the Republican nomination for the United States House of Representatives from South Dakota's At-large congressional district, but he lost to Dale Bell.[4] In 2006, Scott Heidepriem was elected to the South Dakota State Senate in a Sioux Falls-based district as a Democrat, defeating two-term incumbent Republican Senator Dick Kelly by a thin 857-vote margin. Upon being sworn in, Heidepriem was unanimously elected by the Democratic caucus as the Minority Leader of the Senate.[5] Heidepriem was narrowly re-elected to his second and final term in 2008 against State Representative Phyllis Heineman. Scott served in the South Dakota legislature for 12 years, being chosen as Speaker of the House, Pro Tempore, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senate Minority Leader for four years. Heidepriem was chosen the Democratic Party's nominee for Governor of South Dakota in 2010.

Heidepriem was the Democratic nominee for Governor of South Dakota. He attempted to run on an unprecedented bi-partisan ticket by picking then Republican Ben Arndt as his running-mate.[6] However, in late June, Arndt switched party affiliations to become a Democrat, as Secretary of State Chris Nelson would not certify the nomination otherwise, due to a state law requiring all candidates of a particular political party to belong to that party.[7] Polls indicated that Heidepriem would have a difficult time winning in such a conservative state; this was validated when he lost the election with only 38.49% of the vote.[8]

Selected works[edit]


  • Bring on the Pioneers!, The State Publishing Co. (1978), a history of Hand County
  • A Fair Chance for a Free People, Leader Printing Company (1988), a biography of Karl E. Mundt.[9]


"Tort Reform in South Dakota - The Plaintiff's Perspective," co-authored with Nancy Turbak Berry, Vol. 42, Issue 2, 1999


External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Jack Billion
Democratic nominee for Governor of South Dakota
Succeeded by
Susan Wismer